Oct 13, 2011
James Patterson

Why a Blog on Part-Time Freelance Writing?

Because life happens.

For years I had dreamed of starting a freelance writing career. The thought of working for myself, calling my own shots and setting my own schedule seemed like a dream come true.

But it wasn’t until I lost my job in February of 2010 that I actually got around to making that dream a reality. My first year of freelancing was hard work. Really hard work. There were sleepless nights, wondering where the next check would come from and worrying that one of my clients would fall through, making it impossible for me to pay my bills the next month.

I even resorted to writing for content mills like Demand Studios to pay the rent. And through that first year, I wondered…how much better off would I have been if I had just started freelancing on the side before I lost my job?

I would have had a head start on marketing myself, getting quality clips, learning how to set up a website, and on and on.

Then, a year into my freelancing journey, I found myself mulling over a job offer from a client. The PR/Marketing director from a local hospital had hired me to write some magazine articles and promotional copy, and he wanted me to come on full time. Was I ready to give up my freedom and the way of life I had come to know over the last year? But a steady salary and benefits (hello, health insurance!) made it impossible to turn down. Besides, I thought, I can always keep freelancing on the side.

And so, in the course of a year, I went from wishing I had freelanced full time before losing my job, to freelancing full time, to going back to full time and freelancing on the side.

There’s got to be some valuable lessons learned in there, I thought the other day. So I started this. The Part-Time Freelancer.

In general, I envision this to be a place where everyone and anyone can get advice from a successful freelancer like me. I’ve nabbed big clients, pulled home hefty paychecks and cold called until I didn’t think I could handle another “no.” But along the way I’ve learned some things about doing this freelance thing from a couple of different angles.

Whether you feel stuck in the corporate world but don’t have a safety net strong enough to support a full-out escape, or whether you enjoy your job and just want to make a little extra money by writing on the side, this is the place for you. If you’re freelancing and an opportunity falls into your lap like mine did, what should you do? Is it worth it to step back in to full-time work? How will you juggle your schedule? Find time to find new clients? Stay sane with everything that’s going on.

I’ll offer all that type of advice and more, so stick around. Because you never know when life will happen.


  • I found your blog through your post on the DMS forum. Congratulations! I hope it is a huge success! With the title drought and all the changes at DMS, I had to find something else to do too, so I started my own website too.

    • Thanks, Amber! The changes at Demand are having a real effect on a lot of people. Good for you for getting out into the blogging world as well. Wishing you much success.

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Welcome to my blog

This little corner of the Internet is for anyone who's looking to start a freelance business while holding down a real job, wondering how to jump from part-time freelancing to full-time or looking for freelance writing information in general.

My name is James Patterson. You can learn more about me here.